Study Finds Effective Methods for Smoking Cessation

Study Finds Effective Methods for Smoking Cessation
A study found that varenicline, bupropion, and low-dose e-cigarettes were the most effective smoking cessation methods.

A study titled "Pharmacological and e-cigarette intervention for smoking cessation: systematic review, network meta-analysis, and cost-effectiveness analysis" was conducted by researchers at the University of Bristol in the UK. They searched a publication database up to March 2017 and updated their search in February 2019 with randomized clinical trials of smoking cessation interventions lasting for over six months.

The research team ultimately conducted a total of 363 experiments involving 201,045 participants. Additionally, they conducted 53 observational studies, which involved 8,783,5403 participants for safety review purposes.

After analyzing the results, the research team has concluded that the most effective treatment methods are substituting with Varencicline Standard plus Nicotine (odds ratio [OR], 3.22; 95% credible interval [CrI], 2.27-14.88), substituting with Varenicline Low plus Nicotine (OR, 5.70; 95% CrI, 1.57-21.12), and using low electronic cigarettes (OR, 3.22; 95% CrI, 0.97-12.55).

A controversial drug.

On October 1, 2021, the drug varenicline, commonly sold under the name Champix, was added to the World Health Organization's Essential Medicines List. This anti-smoking medication is well-known for helping smokers overcome cravings for cigarettes. However, despite being considered highly effective, it can also cause moderate to severe psychological side effects, ranging from terrifying nightmares to suicidal thoughts.

After multiple reports of such disturbances, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the most severe warning for the drug, causing the sales of Valeni-cline to decrease from $846 million in 2008 to $671 million last year.

In order to overcome this decline, Pfizer, the manufacturer of the drug, has invested heavily in advertising and resolving lawsuits related to the medication. Additionally, the pharmaceutical company has released data retrieved from a study that allegedly proves that consuming Valenicline does not have a direct link to experiencing psychological disorders.

Subsequently, after refusing to lift the warning in 2014, the FDA recently decided to change their stance and abandon the warning. The agency has requested the listing of side effects associated with the drug, and has established a requirement that the label specify that varenicline is more effective than other smoking cessation therapies.

Vonnicron stock recall

Meanwhile, in June of last year, Pfizer was forced to halt distribution of Valsartan after discovering increased levels of nitrosamine in the pills and recalled some of its stock. However, in the following month, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that it would temporarily allow some manufacturers to distribute drugs containing carcinogens below a temporary limit of 185 nanograms per day until impurities could be eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels.

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